While the message may be consoling for those who have fought and lost, it is nonetheless false. The Southern California grocery workers’ four month strike to preserve workers’ benefits may have been heroic, but it was a failure nonetheless. Those workers and their unions can take pride in not knuckling under, but there is nothing to celebrate in fighting and losing.
The message represents, moreover, the acceptance of defeat, usually made possible by denying that it was a defeat at all. Washington’s words, understood in the context in which he made them, prove this: while he was urging white Americans to recognize the struggles of black Americans to ‘better themselves’ as dignified, and possibly heroic, his message to the black community was: work hard, don’t complain if you don’t get where you want or are treated unfairly, and accept the fact that you did not reach the position in lie you deserved. Washington did not reject the gospel of success, he rationalized on the part of those tricked into believing it.
This essay scored 2.
Did you write this essay? Share it with others with this offical Blogger SAT Challenge badge. Feel free to post it anywhere you have password access: